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September 21, 2019 
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A field guide to cryptography

Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2007 @ 07:54:56 CET by

The theory and practice of cryptography is seen by society as a mysterious art. Hollywood and suspense writers have turned it into intrigue and national security. We're here to take some of that away and replace it with a little know-how and some practical application.

"Cryptography - the very word speaks of mystery, secrets, and a good storyline. In fact, what most of us know about the subject revolves around exactly those terms. Its history and usage are often portrayed as shrouded secrets, where the only data valuable enough to deserve such treatment involves the national security of some nation. For most of us, the very concept brings up images of the CIA or MI6. Hollywood and suspense writers have done little to disabuse us of this notion, with some of the greatest novels and movies focusing around the cloak and dagger portrayal of coded messages. That image isn't entirely wrong, either - even back before medieval times, cryptography was used to conceal plans to overthrow governments and assassinate church leaders. Computers have been a tremendous aid to that, allowing much more complex algorithms, elaborate keys and longer messages."

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